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There is a long-standing relationship between The Tindall Foundation and de Paul House, a key work of the Catholic Diocese of Auckland. It was one of the first recipients of our funding, and our co-founder Margaret, Lady Tindall has been a volunteer at the playgroup here since the mid-1990s.
Based in a former Catholic boarding school on Auckland’s North Shore, de Paul House offers temporary accommodation in a safe and dignified environment to families who have become homeless, along with a range of community outreach services.
De Paul House staff give parents classes in life skills like budgeting, literacy, parenting, employment, cooking and computing. Meantime preschool children attend playground in the childcare centre, and older children benefit from a homework centre supervised by local high-school students.
Zarmina Halim, originally from Afghanistan, first came to de Paul House five years ago. Her husband was unemployed and they were homeless, so the family stayed for two months while de Paul House helped them find a house. Now they live on the North Shore and Zarmina’s husband has a job.
“When I first arrived I was really stressed because of our situation,” recalled Zarmina Halim. “We got so much help—I feel more confident about the future now.”
Zarmina still brings her two youngest children to the playgroup four times a week, so that she doesn’t feel isolated and her children can learn English. “De Paul House’s shuttle picks us up with other families and then takes us back home,” she related.
Current de Paul House resident Miriam Moala, her husband and four children used to live in an overcrowded house with extended family. “I love it here as there is no alcohol or smoking allowed, so it is good for the children,” she said.
Since Miriam’s husband is now earning a regular income as a road worker, the family no longer has to rely on food parcels. They pay some rent to de Paul House, part of which is kept aside as savings for the bond on their new home.
Helping the transition to employment is a key outcome, advised de Paul House Manager Jan Rutledge.
Contributions we have made to de Paul House since 2007 include donations of $165,000 for staff salaries and $150,000 towards Pacific Family Support Services. To date our financial support amounts to some $1.5 million.
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